2010 brought record exports of U.S. food and agricultural products to Hong Kong, making it the fastest-growing market over the past three years, and re-export to China could be driving some of that growth. A new Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service
Shows U.S. agricultural, fish and forest product exports to Hong Kong reached a record $2.97 billion in 2010, a 39 percent increase over the previous record of $2.13 billion in 2009
With the growth, according to the GAIN report, Hong Kong cemented its status as the seventh-largest export market for U.S. agricultural products. Also significantly, Hong Kong is the fourth-largest market for high-value consumer oriented products, logging a record $2.11 billion in 2010.
U.S. agricultural exports to Hong Kong grew 126 percent since the beginning of 2008 from $1.3 billion to the current record $2.97 billion. While most major markets shrunk in 2009 following the global slowdown in economic growth the report notes, Hong Kong grew 18 percent and has followed up that performance with 39 percent growth in 2010, making Hong Kong the fastest expanding major market for U.S. agricultural products in that time span.
The report notes that the figures are remarkable considering Hong Kong’s population of 7 million living on roughly 423 square miles of land.
A number of factors including a favorable exchange rate, strong economic growth and the traditional advantages of a free market probably contribute to the surge in exports to Hong Kong, but the report also cites increased re-export trade to China.
The GAIN report does not include specific figures for meat or beef exports, but according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation, exports of U.S. beef and beef variety meets to Hong Kong during 2010 set a value record of $158.2 million, an increase of 87 percent over 2009. In 2010, Hong Kong stood as the 10th-largest export market for U.S. beef products.
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